Gravestone inscriptions can provide excellent information on a persons family ancestry. Some gravestones will give birth, marriage and death information. They may also give information about military history, occupation, family members that are buried in the same area.

To find an ancestors gravestone it is important to know where the deceased is buried. Your ancestor may have been buried in a public cemetery, church cemetery, or city cemetery. Usually they will have been buried in or near the place where they lived. You can find clues about burial locations from newspapers, obituaries, death certificates, church records, or in family histories.

If your ancestor was buried in a church cemetery, the parish minister may have recorded information in the parish records. You may want to try and locate the church in the town or city that your ancestor lived in to see if parish records exist for the date of death.


In Ireland, some gravestone transcription projects have been undertaken by the Ireland's county heritage centres. You will need to see the county heritage center's website for information on whether they have completed the transcriptions for their county. See the Irish Family History Foundation for more information on actual transcribe records.



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